8th Annual Creek and River Cleanup

8th Annual Allegheny River / Conewango Creek Cleanup

The 8th Annual Allegheny River and Conewango Creek Cleanup kicks off in September!

The 2016 Allegheny River and Conewango Creek Clean-Up, September 10th-17th, is just around the corner. This marks the 8th year for the cleanup of both of these waterways! Due to the length and need of the river coverage, the cleanup will take place over five days. The first two days will focus exclusively on the Conewango Creek, focusing on the section from Larimer Park in Russell, down to Point Park in Warren. The final three days will be spent cleaning the Allegheny River from Point Park down to West Hickory. Volunteers can choose to do one day, multiple days, or all five days if they wish. Volunteers are needed both on water and on land, so if you are not a paddler, there is plenty to do on land too.

Registration is required and can be done online at www.alleghenyrivercleanup.com. Just follow the steps at the website. We need volunteers to help keep our two major waterways clean by participating in the annual Allegheny River / Conewango Creek Clean-up.

So what do volunteers do? Well, canoers and kayakers will pick up trash as they paddle downriver. They will spend most of their time getting out of their boats to pick up objects on the shore or riverbanks-this is where muck boots or even waders will come in handy. When the boat is full of garbage, float to the nearest clearly marked trash drop-off point. Land-based volunteers will then be needed at these points to unload the boats full of “treasures” and sort recyclables from trash, and to stack tires. Other volunteers will be needed to transport all of these goodies to designated dumpsters and storage sites.

When you register, you will need to know how many people are in your party in order to reserve your canoes. Limited space is available, so don’t delay: If you do not want to canoe, we still need lots of shore helpers to help unload, sort, and stack all of the bounty of our “harvest”, once the paddlers arrive back to shore. Again, just let us know how many are in your party so we can plan accordingly.

Be sure to show up on the right day and at the correct time and place designated for your trip. Please don’t be late as this can set off a wave of delays throughout the day. Volunteers will be briefed about safety, trash hot spots, and other information at the launch site, before boarding their boats. All volunteers should plan to spend at least 4 to 6 hours each day. Watercraft-based volunteers will need to be at the registration location by 9AM.  Land-based volunteers will need to be there by no later than 11AM and be prepared to go as late as 5PM. All watercraft should be off the water by 3PM at the latest to allow time for the land-based crew to finish loading and disposing all the trash, metals, and tires and return all trucks and trailers by 5PM. Gloves, buckets, and trash bags will be provided.

This year, the schedule is as follows:

Saturday, September 10, 2016 will begin with Day 1 of the Conewango Creek cleanup (the Lower portion).  Meet at Point Park in Warren, PA at 9AM for registration and shuttle to the Front Street launch site.

Monday, September 12, 2016 will be Day2 of the Conewango Creek cleanup (the Upper portion). Meet at the Front Street launch site at 9AM for registration and shuttle to the Larimer Park launch site. The Front St launch site is at the foot of Hackney Meadows Lane directly across from Davies and Sons on Conewango Ave. Look for signs pointing the way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 begins three days on the Allegheny River. Meet at the Tidioute Boat Launch, directly on US Rt 62, at 9AM for registration and shuttle to Wildwood Ln. This portion of the river clean-up includes the federally designated wilderness island, Courson.

Friday, September 16, 2016 is Day2 of the Allegheny River portion. Meet at the West Hickory boat launch at 9AM for registration and shuttle to the Tidioute Boat Ramp. This portion of the clean-up includes Crull’s (96 acres) and Thompson’s (67 acres) Islands. These two islands account for roughly 65% of the island camping along the Allegheny River between Kinzua Dam and Tionesta.

Saturday, September 17, 2016 will be the final leg of the Allegheny River cleanup. Meet at Buckaloons Recreation Area (near the boat ramp) at 9AM for registration and shuttle to Point Park in Warren, PA.

The website, www.alleghenyrivercleanup.com, also has a more detailed schedule and a map to locate each cleanup segment and get directions to each beginning and ending point.

Be sure to read the “Safety” page to better prepare you for the clean-up. To keep the day fun yet productive, please follow these guidelines: Dress for the weather, but pants and long sleeves help protect skin from poisonous plants, bug bites and sunburn, and this is strongly recommended, even in hot weather. Everyone must wear closed-toe shoes—NO sandals or flip flops will be allowed.  Pack plenty of water and food (lunch) to keep you hydrated and energized. See our website for more details.

As always, all volunteers are invited to our wrap-up party, the River Riot, complete with FREE food (Italian Buffet) and beverages for the first 80 people, live music, and our annual “Trashy Awards” presentations. This FREE event will be held Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 6PM at Pellegrino’s on Conewango Avenue in Warren.

For updates, check our website regularly at www.alleghenyrivercleanup.com.

This cleanup event could not be the success it has become without all our dedicated volunteers from all walks of life performing both on-water and on-land duties. See you there!

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